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How do you deal with stealing?

(9 Posts)
Ladygooga Mon 26-Oct-09 12:33:24

Now we are not talking about money here but food.
My dd1 is nerly 7yrs and for the past few months has been stealing food at every opportunity. Everything from chocolate, biscuits to bread.

She knows she'll be caught and punished but still continues to steal. At nearly 7yrs old she is well aware that it is wrong and now her younger sister is joining in the fun too. She is not hungry, she has all meals with snacks in between and is generally a good eater, there is no physical need for her to steal food.

I've punished by removing priviledges, i.e. fav toys. no tv etc but she still continues.

She's just stolen food again and I'm debating not giving her lunch because she stole from the kitchen again. Is that too harsh?

ninah Mon 26-Oct-09 12:35:58

there is usually a reason for stealing, what does she say about it when you talk to her?

Ladygooga Mon 26-Oct-09 12:37:34

She can't give me a reason, she just starts crying and says she doesn't know.
Her behaviour apart from this is great and she does well at school, loves her teachers and has plenty of friends

gorionine Mon 26-Oct-09 12:38:12

by stealing food, do you mean helpng herself in the kitchen cupboards or stealing food from the shops?

ninah Mon 26-Oct-09 12:39:31

any changes in her life over the past months?
My ds went through a stealing phase at about ssame age, it turned out there was some minor bullying from exp's dc - he would always take things from their house

Ladygooga Mon 26-Oct-09 12:45:49

No just food out of the kitchen.

There is no bullying at school, she absolutely adores school and I see her each lunchtime when I take dd2 into nursery, she is happy and playing with her friends.

There haven't been any real changes at home either.
Just had another chat with her and her explanation is "I wanted it so I took it"

gorionine Mon 26-Oct-09 13:06:07

OK, that sort of take away the "to get attention reason". Is it possible that she really is hungry? My Dcs has this habit of raiding the kitchen cupboard after school because they were "starving". I had to tell them several times that they should ask for what they want and wait until I gave it to them. I explained that although it was their food too, there were reasons why I did want to know what they were eating:

- to keep sight of the stock of food

- to avoid getting themselves sick after eating too much of something (sweets or chocolate in particular)

- because it is good manners to ask rather than help themselves

They thought I was really cruel but soon realised that the best way to get a snack they liked was to cooperate. I admit that I did have to "give"into some of their demands in the sense that because I was very rarely gaving them biscuits or chocolate, they thought the only way to get some was to take it without asking. Now I do give them those items a couple of times a week after school (instead of my prefered choice of fruit or toast) things have settled very nicely.

Ladygooga Mon 26-Oct-09 13:26:38

I know she is not really hungry as she always has a snack when they get in from school. She had an orange literally 5 mins before stealing food this morning.

She has biscuits and treat style snacks 3 or 4 times a week more if Grandad and Grandma are around. She just sees an opportunity and takes it.

Had a long conversation about stealing and how stealing food is no different from stealing from a shop or another person. And people who steal from people or shops go to prison...see if that has any impact

gorionine Mon 26-Oct-09 20:39:33

Hope it gets better for

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